Fanatical Filmer (Ingmar Bergman)
Film in SwedenSwedish film: not just Ingmar Bergman. In an international perspective, mainly three great directors have represented Swedish cinematic arts. During the two decades before 1930, Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller personified Swedens classic silent film period. Since the 1950s Ingmar Bergman has been at the center of continuous worldwide interest, with such artistic successes as Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Cries and Whispers and Fanny and Alexander. This publication is a reminder that even looking beyond these cinematic greats, Swedish film encompasses an abundance of creativity and a rich cultural treasure.The cinematic arts made their breakthrough in Sweden at the great 1897 Stockholm Exhibition of Art and Industry. The first Swedish short subjects were also shot there. King Oscar II was filmed as he arrived at the exhibition, thereby becoming the first Swedish film star.Around 1920, during the silent film era, Sweden was among the worlds leading cinematic nations. Such directors as Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller made a number of films that their contemporaries regarded as masterpieces and that posterity has called classics. Several of these were based on books by Swedens Selma LagerlofThis age of greatness was brief. Sjostrom and Stiller emigrated to Hollywood. Among those who went with them was a rising star named Greta Garbo. When talking pictures took over in the early 1930s, Swedish films abandoned their artistic, international ambitions and became very provincial and folksy. Artistic and literary circles considered them so vulgar that they called them a blemish on Swedish culture.After the war, Sweden carved out a reputation as the modern festival system generated increased demand for prestigious, artistic cinema. Documentary filmmakers such as Arne Sucksdorff won repeated international praise. In Cannes 1956, Ingmar Bergman won international acclaim with Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende). Sweden was again a focus of global cinematic interest.Ingmar Bergman would remain in this spotlight as long as he continued to make films. His star only grew in brilliance over the years. Otherwise Swedish cinema was not as successful. Around 1960, Swedens film industry was hit by a major television crisis. Much of the audience abandoned the movie theaters. Swedish cinemagoers were offered a more commercialized mix while the artistic vitality of most of Bergmans colleagues and competitors faded.
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